What is Rendang?
Rendang is a rich and tender coconut beef stew which is explosively flavorful and beef rendang is the most popular rendang. Called “rendang daging” in local language, it’s arguably the most famous beef recipe in Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore.
Origins of Rendang
Beef rendang is of Indonesian origin, a delicious concoction from the Minangkabau ethnic group of Indonesia. It’s often served at ceremonial occasions and to honor guests.
I believe the dish came to Malaysia when the Minangkabau settlers from Sumatra migrated to the southern part of the Malay peninsula during the era of the Melaka Sultanate.
This dish is well loved by many Malaysians, especially the Malay community.
They are all absolutely delicious and best with rice, or Malaysian coconut milk rice (nasi lemak).
What Kind of Beef for Rendang?
I used boneless beef short ribs or stew beef. The cut of beef will ensure that you have soft and tender beef once it’s cooked.
You have to cut the beef into small pieces to ensure that after the slow cooking, each chunk of beef is tender with the aromatic rendang curry paste.
Secret Ingredient of Rendang Sauce
To make the best rendang, you need to have the secret ingredient which is kerisik or toasted coconut.
You also need to cook on low heat to slowly stew and simmer the meat and reduce the rendang sauce. I read that the Minangkabaus save the dish for months as the complex taste and flavor develop over time.
The Best and Most Authentic Rendang
I suggest that you make a big portion so you have some leftover. The flavors and aroma become more intense the next day.
Anyway, try my recipe, it’s the most delicious beef rendang recipe you will find online!
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Beef Rendang Recipe
Beef Rendang - the best and most authentic beef rendang recipe you will find online! Spicy, rich and creamy Malaysian/Indonesian beef stew made with beef, spices and coconut milk.
- 1 1/2 lbs. boneless beef short ribs, cut into cubes
- 5 tablespoons cooking oil
- 1 stick cinnamon, about 2-inch length
- 3 cloves
- 3 star anise
- 3 cardamom pods
- 1 lemongrass, cut into 4-inch length and pounded
- 1 cup thick coconut milk, coconut cream
- 1 cup water
- 2 teaspoons tamarind pulp, soaked in some warm water for the juice and discard the seeds
- 6 kaffir lime leaves, very finely sliced
- 6 tablespoons kerisik, toasted coconut
- 1 tablespoon sugar or palm sugar to taste
- salt to taste
- 5 shallots
- 1 inch galangal
- 3 lemongrass, white part only
- 5 cloves garlic
- 1 inch ginger
- 10-12 dried chilies, soaked in warm water and seeded
Chop the spice paste ingredients and then blend it in a food processor until fine.
Heat the oil in a stew pot, add the spice paste, cinnamon, cloves, star anise, and cardamom and stir-fry until aromatic. Add the beef and the pounded lemongrass and stir for 1 minute. Add the coconut milk, tamarind juice, water, and simmer on medium heat, stirring frequently until the meat is almost cooked. Add the kaffir lime leaves, kerisik (toasted coconut), sugar or palm sugar, stirring to blend well with the meat.
Lower the heat to low, cover the lid, and simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until the meat is really tender and the gravy has dried up. Add more salt and sugar to taste. Serve immediately with steamed rice and save some for overnight.
To prepare the kerisik or toasted coconut, just add the grated coconut to a dry wok and stir continuously until they turn golden brown.